|March 31, 2006
RTP Lawsuit Update:
Powerful Amicus Brief Filed
California attorney John Wolfgram, in conjunction with the Constitutional Defender Association and attorney Cyrus Zal, recently submitted an Amicus brief to the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, DC arguing on behalf of the We The People Foundation plaintiffs in the landmark Right-to-Petition lawsuit, We The People vs. The United States, case No. 05-5359.
Wolfgram, a Vietnam veteran and constitutional scholar, penned the Amicus (friend of the Court) brief arguing that our form of government, based upon the sovereignty of the People, requires that it must be held accountable to the People through the substantive First Amendment Right of Petition. In his brief, Wolfgram succinctly reviews for the court the historical basis for the Right, particularly its roots in the Magna Carta of 1215.
Wolfgram argues that the Right of Petition includes the Right to subject and force government into a compulsory and effective legal process through the judiciary -- just as the law would subject any other party.
Although Wolfgram does not extensively address the matter of withholding taxes to secure just Redress, he does go to some length to remind the court that while Magna Carta explicitly provided for lawful, violent rebellion to secure effective Justice, the purpose of such declaratory language was not to “legalize” rebellion per se, but to insure that the King understood it was through the threat and demonstration of pending violence that substantive Justice could peacefully be secured. Hence, by analogy, the real purpose of our Second Amendment in relation to the Petition clause is revealed.
Wolfgram argues that it is within this historical and legal framework -- aimed toward the furtherance of a “more perfect union”, (and as a much preferred alternative to violence), that the peaceful withholding of taxes from a government unwilling to subject itself to the compulsory process of law and to be held reasonably accountable for its usurpations of power must, without reservation, be considered fully justified.
As Wolfgram cites from the U.S. Supreme Court, “The right to sue and defend in the courts is the alternative of force. In an organized society, it is the right conservative of all other rights, and lies at the foundation of orderly government.” Chambers v. Baltimore & Ohio R.R, 207 U.S. 142, 148 (1907).
In the end, Wolfgram concludes compellingly that the 800-year history and very existence of Western Civilization might not have been possible but for the capstone Right to Petition.
many thanks to John Wolfgram and Cyrus Zal for contributing this unique
perspective for the consideration of the U.S. Court of Appeals and the
People of this nation.
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